Friday, July 1, 2011

Dishin' on the Fringe with Tanya O'Debra

Contributed by Guest Blogger of the Week, Andrea Alton.

Happy Fourth of July Weekend Everyone!

My name is Molly “Equality” Dykeman and I am a poet/security guard at PS 339. My good friend Ms. Andrea Alton (she’s actually kind of a douchebag) took off to the Catskills and left me with this blog. I gotta be honest, I know nothin’ about theater. The last play I went to I fell asleep at but that may have been cause I was drunk. Regardless Andrea asked me to interview the very hot Ms. Tanya O’Debra who I met at last year’s Miss Fag Hag Pageant at Comix (RIP). It was a benefit for The Harvey Milk School.  See I can do nice things.

Oh…I also gotta plug my show. I’m doin’ a solo show at The New York Fringe Festival cause I heard it was a good way to meet ladies. Like most people out there, I only got into theater and poetry to get laid. It’s called The F*cking World According To Molly and the shows gonna rock!

So you don’t get confused, my interview with Tanya (who I secretly love) starts now.

First off, let me get the most pressing question out of the way cause I know my readers want to know. What do you think of my mullet?
“I love it so much that I want to stuff it -.” (At this point, Tanya’s language got so graphic that I passed out and cannot print what she said. Here’s something I learned…ladies that you meet at pageants tend to be a little crazy. Very hot, but a little crazy.)

Let’s move on…but my mullet and I would like to thank you for that. What was your craziest fringe experience?
“In 2001, I participated in my first Fringe with a play I co-wrote called "Fuck You or Dead Pee-Holes; an American Tale in Thirteen Acts" with a cast of 21 people who we were all about 20 years old.  The White Trash Hamsters (our theater company) decided to try a little publicity stunt by protesting our own show.  We invented a fake Christian organization, I think it was called something like The Society for Purity in Theater, then split the cast in half.  We went to Tompkins Square Park (it could have been Washington Square, but I am too old to remember) and half of us flyered for the play and the other half protested.  It ended in a West Side Story style fight between the two groups, just without the dancing and gun violence.  The police drove up to the park with the sirens and the lights and broke up the altercation.  It was pretty exciting, and I was so glad not to have been arrested.  Ah, youth!”

I just gotta say that’s a classy name for a play and I would go see it. Who wants to see a play called Normal Heart or War Horse? Boring. Out of these three options, what's your favorite food? Chicken fingers, nachos or raisins?
“Nachos.  Definitely.”

Me too! Nachos and a two liter of Orange soda is my favorite meal. Speaking of food. What was your grossest fringe festival experience?
“For "Fuck You", we needed large amounts of fake blood that could be washed out of the costumes every night.  Someone had the brilliant idea to use laundry detergent with some sort of coloring added.  The whole cast ended up with terrible chemical burns.  So, instead of getting different blood, we'd slather ourselves with Vaseline before each show.  Obviously.”

I would love to slather you with Vaseline. Or nachos. Nachos would be kinda cool. Hey what was your funniest fringe experience?
“In 2001, the Fringe was still in its kamikaze phase.  Imagine our surprise when our masterpiece, "Fuck You", was placed in a garage instead of a theater.  We were not pleased.  Since this garage was right next to the old Present Company Theatorium, we expressed our displeasure by naming our venue The Butthole Theatorium and printing that on our postcards.  Even though I know that was not a nice thing to do, it still makes me laugh to this day.”    

I don’t mean to sound crass but I love a good butthole story. What's the biggest thing you had to overcome?
“I think the biggest obstacle for any show to overcome is the fact that your show is part of a festival, not its own separate production.  You have to tailor your show to your festival, not the other way around.”

I would tailor my life around you cause you are so f*cking hot. Do you remember the first show you saw at the fringe?
“The first show I ever saw at the Fringe was a show by The Beggars Group, and lord help me, I can't remember the name of it.  But The Beggars Group was a truly fearless duo, Liz Maher and Randy Anderson, and I loved the show. “

And my mullet and I love you. Did you meet someone special or fall in love at the fringe? I don’t mean to be negative but please say no.
“Sorry Molly. I met my boyfriend, Gregg Bellon, at last year's Fringe. I was the Venue Director for the HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre, and he is the Festival Technical Director.  At first we hated each other, but now we live together.  Go figure.”

That’s a very nice story. It touched my bloated heart. I mean I threw up a little in my mouth but it was still nice. Did a homeless person, mouse/roach walk across the stage?
“Probably, but who can tell the difference between those three beings.  Here in NYC, they're all roughly the same size.”

Good point Tanya. Did the A/C work or were you sittin’ with a bunch of smelly people?
“The A/C in the Fringe installed in the Butthole Theatorium was less than stellar.  Thankfully the Fringe no longer houses shows in non-theatrical venues.”

How do you stay looking so HOT?
”It's probably all the kegel exercises I do.”

Maybe I should give those a try but my body is anti movement. What’s your fondest fringe memory?
“After all the craziness of the 2001 Fringe, with the Butthole Theatorium and the chemical burns and everything, "Fuck You" ended up winning the Excellence Award in Overall Production.  It was pretty great.”

I think you are such an amazing person I would like to give you an Excellence in Hotness Award for Overall Achievement in Being HOT on behalf of the New York Innovative Theatre Awards and Molly “Equality” Dykeman Enterprises. I guess I’ll have to check with Shay before I make it official so it’s unofficial now. Actually Shay’s really Hot too so I’m gonna give her a Hotness Award also. And lastly, have you ever made love in a vat of chocolate while eating Oreo’s?
“What I do in front of a webcam in the privacy of my own dungeon is none of anyone's business.”

I gotta get my computer fixed. I love ya Tanya. Thank you for being a good interview. I’m gonna go buy you some nachos and Oreos now.

And to anyone reading this, I’ll see you at the fringe. I’ll be the one with the mullet, safety vest and a lady on each arm. Feel free to say hi and come see my show so we can go party together after.

My good friend and possibly my future wife Miss Tanya O’Debra has been involved with the festivals listed below and will be a Venue Director for Dixon Place at this year’s fringe festival. If you see her, tell her Molly sent you and that you think she should dump her boyfriend and give me a try.

2001 - Fringe NYC "Fuck You or Dead Pee-Holes; an American Tale in Thirteen Acts" - co-writer/co-director/actor
 2008 - Philadelphia Fringe "Straight Up Vampire" - Actor
2009 - Edinburgh Fringe "Radio Star" -writer/performer
2010 - Fringe NYC Venue Director for HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theater
2011 - Orlando Fringe "Radio Star" - writer/performer; Montreal Fringe "Radio Star" - writer/performer; Fringe NYC Venue Director for Dixon Place

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